New Andrews McMeel Syndication/Gannett Deal?

A few days ago we mentioned the St. Cloud Times’ website had signed on for the Andrews McMeel Syndication online package. Well, it seems that was only the tip of an iceberg. Over the weekend a number of other Gannett newspapers announced they too were giving their readers free access to the AMS syndication comic strips and other features via the newspapers’ websites.


The Asbury Park Press, The Commercial Appeal, the Carlsbad Current Argus, the Lafayette Daily Advertiser, the Visalia Times-Delta, and The Coloradoan are among the papers with a couple things in common. They are all a part of the New Gannett-Gatehouse company (that includes being a member of the USA Today Network). Also, they all promoted their new bonus website add with the same article.

Today, we’d like to share that we are expanding our presentation of comic strips, puzzles and advice columns at [insert newspaper website url] to include hundreds of new features.

Through an updated partnership with our syndication providers [emphasis added], we are pleased to unveil our new digital lineup, including comic favorites such as Calvin & Hobbes, Peanuts and Garfield.

A new online advice column lineup includes Dear Abby, Miss Manners, Ask the doctors and The Motley Fool. There is also an expanded selection of online puzzles, including crosswords, Jumble, Sudoku and Solitaire. 

All of this content is available free, without a subscription, on your mobile device or your desktop. Just click on “comics” to see all the new content.

Left unsaid in that original post about the St. Cloud promo was a curiosity as to why cartoonists were helping to publicize a mid-circulation newspaper carrying the AMS comics online. It is well known that newspaper websites pay a fraction to run comics compared to what the hard copy editions pay to physically print the strips.

Suddenly it makes sense – the New Gannett comprises 250+ newspapers and their sites. Now that starts to add up to a pretty penny. So it seems that there is a new partnership twixt Andrews McMeel Syndication and Gannett.

Now the Big Question: Will this online partnership transfer to the Gannett print newspapers?


aside: That St Cloud article had a mysterious reference to a “Simpson” that had no previous mention. Now with these unedited articles we get the whole story:

Dana Simpson is the creator of “Phoebe and Her Unicorn,” which made its debut in digital form in 2012. About three years later, driven by its success online, the strip launched in more than 100 newspapers.

Simpson describes Phoebe as a “girly, child-friendly comic” starring Phoebe, a nine-year-old dreamer who was granted one wish and created the unicorn as her new best friend. 

“I’ve always drawn what I wanted to draw and trusted that someone out there would respond positively to it,” she said. “If you are writing for kids or any niche audience, it is there. I tell people to write what they want to write and the audience will find you.”